Destiny 2: Top 20 Sniper Rifles, Ranked

After years of constant updates and expansions, Destiny 2 has seen the rise and fall of certain weapon archetypes for dealing damage. The meta has shifted dramatically over the game’s lifespan, ranging from buffing certain weapon archetypes into the meta or nerfing others into obscurity.

With auto-reloading effects mostly removed except for some niche cases, Sniper Rifles are a fantastic DPS option in PvE during tough activities such as raids and Nightfalls. In PvP, Sniper Rifles still reward precise aim with instant kills on most targets, only failing to kill Guardians in their Super. Regardless of the game mode you are playing, here are the 20 best Sniper Rifles you should own in Destiny 2.

Updated November 27th, 2020 by Charles Burgar: Sunsetting has certainly shifted the Destiny 2 meta in PvE and PvP. With players gravitating towards gear recently released, Sniper Rifles have seen a massive surge in variety that has been absent since Shadowkeep released. Longer-zoom Sniper Rifles finally have a purpose in PvP while Legendary Snipers can finally compete with Exotics like Izanagi’s Burden. For those looking for the best Sniper Rifles in any activity, here are 20 choices that are sure to impress in Destiny 2: Beyond Light.

20 Sole Survivor

Note that this weapon is currently sunset.

Introduced in Season of the Drifter, Sole Survivor is the only Energy Sniper Rifle that can roll with both Fourth Time’s The Charm and Firing Line. With a larger magazine, this weapon can slay any boss.

Firing Line is unique in that it grants a precision damage bonus when two or more friendly guardians are nearby. It can fire an obscene 11 shots before reloading if it has the right perks, each with a 25% damage bonus! Very few weapons can beat the sustained damage potential of Sole Survivor. Keep an eye out for this weapon if it ever releases with a higher infusion cap.

19 Tranquility

Note that this weapon is currently sunset.

How can a Legendary weapon compete with Sole Survivor? Make it a Kinetic instead of an Energy weapon. That is exactly what Tranquility is: a Kinetic Sole Survivor.

Perk rolls are similar on both, with Tranquility capable of rolling Fourth Time’s The Charm and Firing Line simultaneously. It being a Kinetic weapon makes it better than Sole Survivor, however, as Kinetic weapons all gain a damage bonus to Precision hits compared to Energy weapons. You’ll have a harder time breaking enemy shields, but most bosses lack shields to protect themselves from the onslaught of bullets this weapon can dish out. You will have to farm essences on the Moon to obtain Tranquility, which can be rather time-consuming. Just like Sole Survivor, though, this weapon is currently sunset and can’t be used in pinnacle activities, hence its rather low rank.

18 Apostate

Note that this weapon is currently sunset.

Those who played the Destiny 2 beta might remember a Veist Sniper Rifle that looked just like this weapon, minus the Hive spikes. That weapon was Widow’s Bight, and it has returned in Shadowkeep.

Apostate, unlike Widow’s Bight, can come with random rolls. For PvE, it can get Mutlikill Clip and Outlaw, although pulling off a max Multikill Clip stack is rather hard to do. In PvP, however, Apostate is amazing. It can roll with Quickdraw and Moving Target, giving it an absurdly high aim assist value alongside instant draw times. This is one of the most forgiving and consistent snipers in Destiny 2but don’t get too accustomed to the Apostate as it is unusable in Trials of Osiris, Iron Banner, and most PvE activities.

17 Twilight Oath

Note that this weapon is currently sunset.

If you don’t want to set foot in a Raid but still want a powerful sniper rifle, the Dreaming City houses a fantastic PvP Sniper Rifle called Twilight Oath.

What makes this rapid-fire Sniper special is its ability to roll Boxed Breathing. This perk makes the weapon deal considerably more damage on its next shot when scoped in for a short time. In essence, this Sniper can easily shut down Supers and low-Resilience guardians with a well-placed shot in Crucible. Even without Boxed Breathing, it still has one of the highest aim assist values for a Sniper to help land headshots. Twilight Oath also comes with one of the lowest scope zooms in Destiny 2, making it phenomenal for dueling enemies in any environment where Power Level does not matter.

16 Alone As A God

Note that this weapon is currently sunset.

While currently unobtainable, Alone as a God was easily the most accessible top-tier PvP Sniper Rifle in Destiny 2 for years. This Kinetic Sniper Rifle is special because it has a massive 79 aim assist value and comes with Snapshot Sights. Aiming with this weapon is near-instant, allowing for quick headshots in PvP environments. For PvE, it can hold its own thanks to Triple Tap.

There are certainly better Snipers in Destiny, but this was a fantastic choice for those who don’t want to farm random rolls for a good one. Sadly, it is currently sunset and unobtainable as the Leviathan raids have been sunset from the game.

15 Distant Tumulus

PvE Snipers can’t get much better than Distant Tumulus. Reintroduced in Season of the Worthy, this Sniper Rifle is capable of firing a barrage of high-damage shots thanks to its possible perk combinations.

For a Rapid-Fire Frame, Distant Tumulus can dish out a great amount of damage thanks to Clown Cartridge and Firing Line being a potential perk combination. Despite the Sniper buffs being reverted in Year 3, this weapon’s damage output more than makes up for it.

14 Tatara Gaze

Note that this weapon is currently sunset.

Most players might have forgotten about this Black Armory Sniper Rifle, a slow firing weapon that can’t roll with the infamous Snapshot Sights Quickdraw combination.

What it can roll instead is rather powerful. Tatara Gaze is the only aggressive Sniper in Destiny 2 that can get Kill Clip as a perk. When this perk is active, Tatara Gaze will one-shot any Guardian in the Crucible regardless of where your shot lands. It can shut down any Super with a well-placed headshot as well. Disregarding its sunset status, this weapon still falls behind other top-tier Legendaries or similar Sniper Exotics.

13 Whisper Of The Worm

Io’s greatest secret during Warmind was a triumphant return of the Black Spindle Sniper from the original Destiny. This weapon is unique in that it bypasses reloading entirely if it can land three consecutive headshots in a short period.

Whisper of the Worm also has an Exotic Catalyst that gives it a pre-nerf version of Boxed Breathing, making this a must-have weapon for raids or tough PvE activities. This weapon is rather lackluster in PvP, however, due to it being a Heavy weapon.

12 Omniscient Eye

Rapid-Fire Frame Snipers get a bad reputation in PvP for taking upwards of three body shots to down a Guardian. For those who can aim for the head, however, the Omniscient Eye is a solid choice.

This Garden of Salvation Sniper can roll with Mulligan and Snapshot Sights at the same time to mimic the behavior of Revoker, if less consistent than that Pinnacle weapon. A high handling stat ensures that this weapon is fast to equip and near-instant to aim with. Coupled with its low zoom scope, Omniscient Eye is a solid Sniper that players can rely on for Trials of Osiris or tough PvE content.

11 Revoker

Note that this weapon is currently sunset.

Pinnacle weapons have had a rocky history in terms of balance, either being way too strong for certain bits of content or being too weak to be viable options.

Somehow, Revoker manages to be one of the best-designed Pinnacles in the game. This PvP Pinnacle Sniper comes with a unique perk that returns a bullet to the magazine if your shot misses, provided you wait a small period without firing. Combined with its rather small scope zoom, this is a must-have for any Crucible players despite its current infusion cap.

10 Beloved

Note that this weapon is currently sunset.

Season of Opulence introduced some fantastic weapons for players to farm in The Menagerie, a 6-man activity set in the Leviathan that also houses multiple raids.

One of those amazing weapons you can farm is the Beloved Sniper Rifle. It can deal with both PvE and PvP content well based on the roll. In PvE, it can roll Fourth Time’s The Charm for an absurd amount of shots in each magazine. Alternatively, you can run the iconic Snapshot Sight Quickdraw combo in Crucible to dominate opponents with one of the most responsive Snipers in Destiny history. For those that missed out on obtaining Beloved, the Adored Sniper Rifle behaves similarly to this top-tier weapon.

9 Trophy Hunter

Trophy Hunter is effectively a Legendary version of Whisper of the Worm. This Aggressive Frame Sniper Rifle packs a serious punch with each shot, which is further amplified with Vorpal Weapon.

Triple Shot can also roll on this weapon to make it truly shine, so long as your roll has a magazine-increasing perk. A five-round magazine will let Guardians fire seven bullets from this gun before it needs to reload. It might be a horrible PvP Sniper Rifle, but for PvE, the Trophy Hunter is a great choice.

8 Long Shadow

Obtainable from strikes and Vanguard packages, Long Shadow is a devastating PvE Sniper Rifle if you get the right roll. Field Prep and Triple Tap turn this otherwise mediocre weapon into a great boss DPS weapon.

A Backup Mag Mod and either Appendid or Extended Magazine will give this weapon a seven-round magazine, allowing Triple Tap to activate three times with each magazine. Being able to lay ten shots into a target before reloading in just over a second makes this one of the strongest PvE weapons in the game. For PvP, its perk selection is less than stellar when compared to other top-tier choices currently.

7 Eye Of Sol

Once Revoker gets retired in the fall, Eye of Sol is likely to take its place. Obtained from Trials of Osiris, this Sniper is capable of being one of the most forgiving headshot machines in the game.

That is thanks to its unique perk Celerity. This perk will grant a bonus to handling, aim assist, reload speed, and a noticeable reduction to incoming flinch while active. So long as the player is the last member of their fireteam, this weapon is a complete powerhouse that is easy to use. It can also roll with Opening Shot if players aren’t frequently the last Guardian standing in a fireteam.

6 Borealis

Borealis is the most underrated Sniper Rifle in Destiny 2. For an Aggressive Frame Sniper Rifle, this weapon has base stats comparable to a Rapid-Fire Frame. It has an absurdly high handling stat, great reload speed when Masterworked, and high damage per bullet.

The Exotic perk of Borealis allows it to one-tap Guardians in PvP if you can break a player’s shield while they are using a Super. Since this is a rather niche condition, most players opt to use an Empowering Rift of the Whisper of Hedrons Fragment to make this weapon one-tap enemies in PvP.

Surprisingly, Borealis is also a phenomenal option in PvE due to its ability to swap elements by reloading. This makes it excellent for Match Game activities like Nigthfalls or Master Lost Sectors. Overall, Borealis is a solid PvE Sniper Rifle and a fantastic weapon inside of the Crucible.

5 Adored

Adored is clearly meant to be the spiritual successor to Beloved, arguably the strongest Legendary PvP Sniper Rifle in Destiny 2. It might not be as strong as Beloved once was, but the fact this isn’t sunset and it has Killing Wind makes it a solid substitute.

A single kill dramatically increases the handling stat on this weapon, matching the responsiveness of Beloved. PvE players will also want this weapon since it can also use Triple Tap and Vorpal Weapon simultaneously, a fantastic perk combination for PvE content. It might not be the best Sniper Rifle in Destiny 2, but it is exceptionally good considering how easy it is to get.

4 Succession

For those that missed out on obtaining a Trophy Hunter during Season of Dawn, the Deep Stone Crypt raid’s Succession Sniper Rifle is an objectively better version that won’t be sunset for some time.

Reconstruction and Vorpal Weapon are the best perks for this weapon in PvE, allowing this weapon to obtain a six or eight-round magazine that passively reloads itself. Recombination can be used in place of Vorpal Weapon for better burst damage, sacrificing sustained DPS. PvP players will also want this weapon since it can roll with Killing Wind and Snapshot Sights, making this an incredibly responsive Aggressive Frame Sniper Rifle. Pairing this with Whisper of Hedrons, an Empowering Rift, or High-Energy Fire is enough to one-tap Guardians to the body in PvP.

3 The Supremacy

A returning favorite from the first game, The Supremacy is a rapid-fire Kinetic Sniper that can deal a significant amount of damage in a short period.

It isn’t bad for PvP, capable of rolling Snapshot Sights and Kill Clip at the same time. Unlike Tatara Gaze, this cannot one-tap players to the body. What it can do, however, is roll Triple Tap with Extended Mags to fire an outrageous amount of bullets that can only be rivaled by the likes of Sole Survivor or Tranquility. It is rather hard to farm for, only being available as a random drop in the Last Wish Raid, but it has a small perk pool so it isn’t too hard to get a good roll for in either mode.

2 Izanagi’s Burden

No other weapon in Destiny 2 can deal as much damage as Izanagi’s Burden. Well, without taking into account unintentional bugs.

Regardless, Izanagi has shaped the entire Destiny meta since Shadowkeep released. While it lacks perks like Firing Line or Fourth Time’s The Charm, Izanagi’s Burden can consume bullets from the magazine into a high-damage shot. When this weapon is fully masterwork, a 4 round magazine consumed will grant a bullet that will deal the damage of 6 bullets at the same time. Reloading is the only limiting factor for how fast this gun can dish out damage. In PvP, it is capable of shutting down any Super while Honed Edge is active. Izanagi’s Burden shines as one of the best burst damage weapons in the game.

1 IKELOS_SR_v1.0.2

The IKELOS_SR_V1.0.2 is easily the best PvP Rapid-Fire Frame Sniper in Destiny 2. It has incredibly high aim assist, great handling, and the best perk selection in the archetype.

Seraph Rounds are this weapon’s unique magazine trait, granting the weapon flat range that surpasses what Accurized Rounds can provide. This can be used alongside Moving Target and Quickdraw to make a fast-firing variant of Beloved. Alternatively, players can replace Quickdraw with High-Impact Reserves to make this weapon two-tap Guardians to the body in PvP. As for PvE, this weapon can both generate Warmind Cells and deal considerable damage from afar thanks to its Fourth Times The Charm and High-Impact Reserves perk combination.

NEXT: Destiny 2 Beyond Light: A Complete Guide To The Deep Stone Crypt Raid

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Charles Burgar is an expert on all things tech and gaming. Graduating from Pikes Peak Community College in 2018 with an Associate of Science, Charles has spent his time dissecting popular video games, movies, and technology. With an understanding of games for as long as he can remember, Charles has a large interest in understanding what makes things fun. He is currently a Freelance writer for TheGamer and Game Rant.

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